Tailored for those with physical and mental challenges

NORTH READING LITTLE LEAGUE will launch the second season of its Challenger Division on Sunday, May 3. (Courtesy Photo)

NORTH READING LITTLE LEAGUE will launch the second season of its Challenger Division on Sunday, May 3. (Courtesy Photo)

NORTH READING — North Reading Little League is proud to launch the second season of its Challenger Division on Sunday, May 3.

The Challenger Division began nationwide in 1989, enabling boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 4 to 18 (or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Rules of play are modified for the Challenger Division to allow players of all abilities to participate. Each Challenger player is partnered with a “Buddy” to assist on the field when needed. Each Buddy’s primary responsibility is to make sure players have fun while learning and playing the game of baseball in a safe environment. Buddies will be asked to complete a Little League volunteer application and pass required background checks. Teenagers and parents are highly encouraged to participate.

“We’re excited for another Challenger Division season,” said NRLL President Eddie Madden. “We had a great first season and participation has nearly doubled for 2015. The players really enjoy being part of a team and the community support has been outstanding.

“And we’re thrilled to see the program grow. This season will feature games with surrounding towns such as Andover, North Andover and Weston, who also have thriving Challenger programs,” added Madden.

The 2015 Challenger season will run on six successive Sundays from May 3 through June 14. Home games begin at 9 a.m. at Benevento Memorial Fields.

Those interested in learning more about player registration and volunteer opportunities can contact Chris Hanson at 781-439-9031 or [email protected]

Updated information and links about the Challenger Division will be posted on the North Reading Little League website www.nrll.org.